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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone,

Ive owned my QH gelding for 3 years now and have only in the past year been working and riding regularly. He tends to be very heavy in the front and at a trot trips and stumbles quite often, I thought he was just a lazy QH that just wouldnt pick his legs up. Ive tried to get conformation photos and was shocked by how bumb high he is. He is an '09 model so rising 10yo so dont believe he has anymore growing to do.

Im curious what everyone else thinks of his conformation? I see a slightly upright shoulder and his neck it set low, but other than that not really sure what else.

If anyone has ideas for training exercises to help him pick his legs up more or build his front/topline would be greatly appreciate
 

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I completely agree! that is exactly the first thing that came to my mind; that he is in a 'pain' stance. HE is trying to rock back off of his front toes, I think. Additionally, his face also looks like an unhappy horse.


Conformationally, He is unusual. It's almost like he is 3 horses put together into one. His hind end is classic QH. (nice hip, good hock angle) His shoulder is light, and too upright, so not so well matched to the hind end, his neck is short, and relatively thick, and his head large and handsome but seems to belong to a third horse.
 

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He is a bit butt high which will have him traveling down hill, hence heavy on the forehand. The rear view doesn't show as much muscling as that butt would suggest. His neck is also quite weak, he looks like he moves with his head up while tripping along.

Using spaced ground poles will teach him to pick up those front feet. You may find that he'll lower his head better just to see where he's going. Overall he could benefit from learning some collection, some roundness while pushing with his back end. He needs to really reach under himself with his hind legs, think lots of impulsion.
Both of these techniques will help him become better balanced. His neck won't look so weak, he'll develop muscle where right now it dips down like a ewe neck. Getting under himself and driving more will bulk up his hind quarters and gaskins and really play to the strength of that big butt.
Overall he's a nice horse, getting some balance and working muscles on him and he'll look very different!
 

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He's going to find it extremely difficult to NOT move heavy on the forehand with the way he's built -- high in the rear, shallow shoulder, heavy head and coarse, low-set neck. However, I'm seeing classic 'pain' stance, too. With his conformation, the first thing I would want to rule out is navicular -- tripping is often a symptom. Ensuring he's pain free will also help him move better. All the gymnastics in the world won't help if he's sore.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Does he always stand with fronts out in front of him? He looks uncomfortable in his stance,could be why he's stumbling a lot. He's a bit butt high but not horrible neck is low set and short looking he's got a big clunky head. Really though his stance is a bit concerning.
I made him stand like that to try and get him square? I can try and see if i can get him standing relaxed. He doesnt stand like this normally
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
He's going to find it extremely difficult to NOT move heavy on the forehand with the way he's built -- high in the rear, shallow shoulder, heavy head and coarse, low-set neck. However, I'm seeing classic 'pain' stance, too. With his conformation, the first thing I would want to rule out is navicular -- tripping is often a symptom. Ensuring he's pain free will also help him move better. All the gymnastics in the world won't help if he's sore.
What would I ask a vet to look into if its pain? Unsure if its pain as I made his stand like that for the photo? Will try to get a pic of him standing naturally.
 

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Yeah get him to stand naturally - as square as possible, but natural. And while yes, he looks a bit bum high, that first pic looks way different to the second in that regard - camera angle or such, making it look like his hind is more 'uphill'? He looks quite straight through his hind legs too, but until he's standing naturally, not sure how much 'conformational' it is. Best to stand him on hard, flat surface too for shots.

Re stumbling, agree this is likely due to discomfort - when exactly does he stumble most? - and some hoof pics may give more info on that. Check out the link in my signature for what's needed there.
 

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His conformation will predispose him to moving heavily on the forehand. However, I agree with getting the vet to check him out. A good vet shouldn't be told what to look for, just tell them what you told us.

Exercises to teach him to rock back and pick up his feet will be beneficial, but do get a vet check first. And more pictures are good :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thank you guys, I'll get some better photos when I go out in the afternoon. He may look uncomfortable as I just lunged him and he just wanted to leave and eat grass lol. But if it is pain I will contact our vet.
 

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It's his stance not his expression that looks uncomfortable (and I think is making him look more butt high then he is). But it can be awkward squaring them up sometimes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Updated Photos:

Also he was very interested in where his stablemate was and not about standing still for photos, hence why he isn't look straight ahead or paying any attention to me haha.

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Better, but he still has a very long toe, low heel foot. He needs different farrier care, and I bet part of your problem goes away. However, his conformation and those hooves would make me want to rule out navicular still if he continues stumbling or seems hesitant in front at all. Long toes are really problematic for navicular-prone horses (like most QH's) so it's something you'll want to address. Asking him to carry himself properly with hooves like that has got to be uncomfortable for him.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Better, but he still has a very long toe, low heel foot. He needs different farrier care, and I bet part of your problem goes away. However, his conformation and those hooves would make me want to rule out navicular still if he continues stumbling or seems hesitant in front at all. Long toes are really problematic for navicular-prone horses (like most QH's) so it's something you'll want to address. Asking him to carry himself properly with hooves like that has got to be uncomfortable for him.
Just ha a farrier out as was concerned about the long toe, which is usually kept on top of. He found a bruised heel on nearside so that may be why he was standing funny. Getting fixed now
 

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